April 2005

H2G2 Hit and a miss

Fresh from seeing the new Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy movie I thought I'd come home and write a great review. As is oft the case, however, I found that it has already been done very well. The BBC review covers the subject very nicely. A nice, if quirky adaption of the story that most Hitchhiker's fans will likely appreciate and chuckle at a time or two and will be lost on the unread or unheard masses.

The bottom line is this is a good movie and Hitchhiker's fans won't be nearly as disappointed as the Star Wars generation will be in a couple of weeks. Since there was an Episode III trailer I'm now more convinced that Episode III might be a tiny (but only a tiny) fraction better than the last two disappointments. Some posts suggest it might be better. The trailer, however, suggests it tries, once again to strike a balance between the original trilogy's heavy battle story-lines and the lighter storytelling. Episode I and Episode II have proven a failure in this regard. The trailer offers little reason for different expectations of this installment. When the trailer has more talking heads than the PBS News Hour one has to wonder.

Thanks to the BBC I now know where to find the Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy on my Treo phone. This will lead to many fine hours of exploration.

Friday funny

During the daily work online I came across this statement describing a high school laptop program: "students become experienced with high end computer software such as Windows, Office, and much more."

I wonder now if they use high-end General Motors station wagons for drivers' education too.

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College, London University, has done some research suggesting that emails, text and phone messages have a negative impact on IQ. In fact the average IQ loss in the studies commissioned by Hewlett Packard was 10 points, or more than double the average loss in studies of pot users.

It gives a whole new meaning to smoke breaks. In the information technology age workers might have to smoke a little weed every once in a while to get their brain cells back. That is not the exact conclusion the study draws, but the implications are widespread. Other findings mentioned in the article include that a third of respondents felt that answering text messages and emails during face to face meetings with other people had become acceptable and is seen as a sign of diligence. And the finding that two-thirds of respondents look at their work email while they are off or on vacation.

Battle of the code-names

Michael Hyatt says of the Longhorn moniker for the someday possibly released version of the Windows Operating System "Sadly, some would say that this aptly describes what Windows has become. A bloated cow that, when provoked, can become 'dangerous and uncontrollable.'"

It was particularly fitting after participating in this thread via email today. It is probably a good thing then that Copeland never made it out the door.


Is a new Apple cloning deal afoot? It seems unlikely but Sony is using an Apple PowerBook running Macintosh OS to advertise it's latest Viao. We've seen Sony appearing on the Apple stage of late at NAB and Mac World, but it seemed at that time like the partnership was more about Sony's video cameras.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em.

Giving a Mac mini a try

O'Reilly has an article for curious try-ers of the . The story, which details a try-er instead of a switcher, shows how Todd Ogasawara found his experience of trying a Mac mini.

He added several features that drive the cost up significantly and aren't necessary. Unfortunately he compounds this by suggesting a Windows PC is cheaper, or you get more for your money. However, there were several extras that he added to the mini that weren't taken into consideration. (By the way how many Windows users use .Mac?)

However, he has not found what I consider the greatest feature of OS X. Safari. Safari has inline spell checking. As someone who composes on the web all the time this feature alone is worth significant note. It makes it possible to have the all-to-familiar red lines wiggling about under the words I write, here or elsewhere, and keeps the spelling more likely to be correct. With Tiger's addition of "Look Up in Dictionary" providing instant access to the New Oxford American Dictionary to every word typed watch out!! Oh, and there is something called "Dashboard" coming too, but those are all features to be added later this week.

Image Hijacking

I've been tracking down quite a few image hijackers recently. These unscrupulous people choose to host web pages and use the images from another's webserver (in this case mine) for their site. Nevermind that they would probably never think to even ask for permission to use copyrighted images, but they go one step further. In the process of stealing my work they use my server to do it. Well, they did. No more. The really bad thing about it is that by doing this you're allowing someone else (me) to control what happens when people come to your site.

Beautiful and pointless

CSS Beauty points to this site which has a nice CSS style. But it fails on the information provided side. Let's say I was interested in purchasing 8862 W. Dulcimer St., what city would I have to move to? The MLS link at the bottom of the page says Boise, Idaho, which explains the reasonable price. Nowhere on the page doe it say anything about where the house is located other than its street address.

Oklahoma City ten years later

A decade ago I attended a meeting of FortNet in Fort Collins, Colo. News of the tragic events of a bomb blast from Oklahoma City set the mood for the room. I began to wonder what I could do. Many had already turned to the emerging internet and had catapulted it into a local news machine. Being hundreds of miles away trying to provide news did not seem to be an option. Still, I had a strong desire to let the people of Oklahoma know America and the world stood with them.

The Oklahoma City Sympathy Card was the outcome of that effort. Thousands of people from around the world, continents far and wide contributed to this beautiful work. Printed copies were compiled and sent to public places throughout Oklahoma City. To this day it remains a beautiful testament to the people of the world expressing their common bonds with those across the street or half a world away.

End of an era

The end of an era is set for this summer. Lance Armstrong announced today that he intends to retire after the Tour De France. Armstrong set a record with six tour wins las summer and if successful this summer would have two more wins to his credit than any other cyclist.